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Catch The Wave

Looking for a quicker return from injury or to spice up your current training program? Why not try aquatic rehabilitation?

Published July 16, 2012 05:13

Catch The Wave
Iva Majoli

Looking for a quicker return from injury or to spice up your current training program? Then check out these tips on aquatic rehabilitation…

If you are injured, take the appropriate steps to recover and come back safe and ready to play. Be sure your decision to return is made according to your health and well being, and not because of pressures that others or that you, put upon yourself.

Solution To Injury Worries

• Injuries cause pain, which can lead to altered performance.
• If you return to competitive activity too early, you will compensate by using the wrong muscles, which can lead to more injuries.
• Immediately following an injury, you will notice a decrease in range of motion, strength and cardiovascular conditioning.
• Before you know it, you may be forced to alter your fitness training and restrict your time on a court or field.
• Find ways to protect your body and recover quickly from an injury. Specific aquatic exercises can get your body back in motion and back to your best performance ever!

Water = the oldest therapy in history and still making a splash!

Did You Know?
• Water is the ideal place for rehabilitation and training to occur.
• In many professional or college athletic training facilities you will find athletes working out in the water.
• Many elite athletes begin their injury rehabilitation in the pool, and also use the water to add diversity to their fitness routine.

Take Advantage
• Submerging your body in water decreases the forces placed on your joints.
• Walking in chest-deep water reduces your body weight by 70%!
• This is critical when you have an injury that limits your weight bearing.
• E.g., if you are on crutches and can only put 50 % of your weight through your leg, you could start walking in waist deep water without the crutches.
Water gets you moving earlier!
• Substituting water workouts for cardiovascular training will be especially beneficial during the hard court activities, to give your joints a break.

WATER WORKS

Injury Recovery
• You can decrease swelling, especially in your lower body.
• As you go deeper into the water (more than 5 feet or 1.7 meters) the effects of hydrostatic pressure push the fluid in your body upwards.
• This helps to reduce the swelling in injured areas in your legs, ankles and feet.

Traveling Gymnasium
• Keep up your cardiovascular fitness and overall condition while rehabilitating an injury.
• Use an AquaJogger belt around your waist and paddles in your hands while you run in the deep end of the pool for 20 to 30 minutes.
•  Great alternative to running on land and a fantastic method of cross training. Running just adds to the pounding on your joints, that you already get during your training on a hard surface.
•  Also, changing your training routine helps keep things exciting; it challenges your body and mind!

Walking in chest-deep water reduces your body weight (and load on your joints) by 70%!

Mix Up Your Routine
• Water is great to add assistance or resistance to activities.
• You will promote a balance between strength & flexibility for all major muscle groups.
• Exercising in the water gives you the benefit of resistance in both directions.
•  Performing bicep curl with paddles you will work muscles on the front and back of your arm (biceps & triceps) with just one exercise.
•  Simulate tennis strokes and perform agility footwork in the water once a week
•  Since water gives you resistance, it works on building your strength and slowing down your strokes to fine tune your technique.
•  Take an old racquet into the shallow end of the pool to practice your forehand, backhand and simulate court drills.

Challenge Your Core Stability Routine
• The ability to rotate your trunk forcefully helps generate power for every tennis stroke.
• The player with stronger core muscles will have increased power and endurance on the court, giving her an advantage over opponents.
• Working against the water's resistance engages the core muscles and challenges your ability to perform movements while maintaining a stable spine.
•  Use an AquaJogger and flotation devices around your ankles while running in the deep end.
• Increase the challenge: change the depth of the water, or use different types of equipment.

Recovery In The Water
• The use of water as a healing medium dates back many centuries.
• After a training session, practice or match: try alternating warm and cold shower or plunge pools; using the jets in a Jacuzzi to relax & massage your muscles; or take a light swim.
• Whichever option you choose, you will feel the benefits immediately.

What are you waiting for? Dive in and get wet!

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The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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